AltaPointe patients now have a new choice when it comes to filling their prescriptions, and it’s a convenient one. A joint venture between AltaPointe and Northrock Pharmacy based in Oklahoma City, Integrated Healthcare Pharmacy, LLC, has opened shop in the lobby of adult outpatient services on Gordon Smith Drive. “It is a full retail pharmacy with the ability to service all AltaPointe patients,” Julie Bell, pharmacy manager, said. “Before we only served the indigent population. Now we can service those patients as well as patients with insurance.”
The pharmacy is filling 3,000 prescriptions a month using E-scribe, an electronic prescription service that sends the script straight from the physician to the pharmacy. The only physical location of Integrated Healthcare Pharmacy is at Gordon Smith. It is currently serving programs throughout AltaPointe, including, adult outpatient services, BayPointe Hospital residential, the two adolescent transitional age group homes, as well as the Sylacauga region’s residential programs. Right now, it is only serving patients. It is supplying psychotropic as well as primary medications. “The goal of the pharmacy is to increase patient adherence to their medication compliance,” Tuerk Schlesinger, AltaPointe CEO, said. “After all, the healthier our patients are the better.
Full-scale pharmacy anticipated for years
Schlesinger says opening a full-scale pharmacy has been in the works for years, but has only now found an avenue by which to do it. “This is tremendously exciting for me because I enjoy working with and around pharmacies,” Schlesinger said. “Northrock Pharmacy brings tremendous experience in taking care of behavioral healthcare providers and, specifically, has a scalable module that can work with behavioral healthcare centers.”
The plan is to take profits from the pharmacy and put them back into expanding coverage ultimately allowing AltaPointe to take care of more people. Schlesinger believes the pharmacy could grow to 5,000 prescriptions per month before the end the year.
“We are providing more medications to more people regardless of their ability to pay, and we also are offsetting the costs of the pharmacy,” Schlesinger added. “While this is significant, we also want our patients to know they have a choice to use an outside pharmacy.” Bell says the growth of the pharmacy has been amazing to watch and believes more growth is on the horizon.
“Since we opened, we have been able to hire three new technicians bringing our staff to two full-time pharmacists and six technicians,” Bell added. “There is a lot of job growth and opportunity.” Schlesinger praised Bell’s efforts in bringing Integrated Healthcare Pharmacy to fruition. “We were able to pull this off because she has the ability to handle a start-up and work through all the miscellaneous things that come up. I was very comfortable using one of our in-house pharmacists. Much of our success is due to Julie’s leadership.”